The heat is ramping up, the sun is shining, and the kids are getting restless: summer break is here. At first glance, summer seems like a time filled with family vacations, and afternoons spent at the beach. Families playing together while sipping ice-cold sodas and fancy drinks with umbrellas in them. But looking closer it reminds us that this season also means finding something to do with the kiddos while parents continue their 9 to 5 grind.
If you are looking to keep the kids busy between weekends and week-long getaways, consider one of the following options.
Community Center Programs
Your neighborhood or city community center is a great place to start your search for activities that will keep your kids both happy and active. From week-long summer camps that include sports, science, and art, to individual classes that fill up smaller portions of the day, there is plenty to choose from. One of the highlights of community center programs is that they are affordable, helping you save some cash for your upcoming summer vacations. You can typically find summer camps and programs through the City’s Parks and Recreation website or by going to a community center a picking up one of their guides. Portland and Seattle both have great online resources.
While making sure kids have plenty of time to play over the summer season is important, volunteer opportunities are great for teaching them the benefits of investing in their community. If you love the idea of having your child do a little volunteer work but you have no idea where to look, check out retirement homes, animal adoption agencies, and soup kitchens or food pantries are always looking for help. If you feel like your child isn’t ready for such a big job, reach out to neighbors with small children or infants and see if they need a “mommy’s (or daddy’s) little helper.” Another option is having them help an elderly neighbor with yard or garden work. This is a great way to begin to prepare your child for work outside of the home down the road.
Head to the Library
The library is another great option for summer activities that won’t break the bank. They run programs, reading clubs, and even offer workshops that kids can participate in throughout the summer months. In fact, most libraries run summer-long reading programs that encourage kids to get in their daily reading time, providing prizes for kids once they read a certain number of hours. Big bonus: many of programs and classes cost little or are even free.
If you need a little extra time to work, have your child spend some reading time at the library before their activity, and spend time checking out books after. It’s a great way for them to stay busy for a handful of hours, especially in the heat of the day!
RecTennis Summer Camps
Starting at just $39/session, your kiddos can learn basic tennis skills in a non-competitive atmosphere while getting their wiggles out and making a new set of friends. RecTennis summer camps are affordable and super fun. They keep kids engaged with camp games, activities, and even prizes. It’s the classic summer camp experience with the perfect tennis twist.
Tennis teaches kids integrity and sportsmanship while helping kids becomes stronger, faster, and healthier overall. When they are done with their day at camp, they’ll come home feeling satisfied with their summer experience and ready to chill with the family.